Channel 4 has confirmed four-time Olympic gold-medallist athlete Michael Johnson as part of a winning line-up of sporting greats hosting the channel’s live and exclusive coverage of the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The world-famous, nine-time world champion will join main presenter Ortis Deley on the flagship programme to give his views on the action from the track.
Johnson is universally recognised as one of the greatest athletes in the history of track and field, and will bring his own experience and expert knowledge to the IAAF Championships. His appointment as a champion pundit reflects Channel 4′s commitment to delivering fresh and high-quality coverage of the IAAF Championships.
Jamie Aitchison, Editor, Live Sports, Channel 4, said: “Michael is renowned for his frank, incisive and illuminating views and we are delighted to have him as our lead analyst in our exciting team.”
Ortis will make his Channel 4 presenting debut as the host of the live programming in the studio, and will front a winning line up of talent covering the championships.
Expert commentators Jon Rawling and Rob Walker will cover the action from the commentary box, with Sonja McClaughlin reporting on all the IAAF Championship news from the trackside.
Channel 4 has also appointed a host of world-class athletes to the commentary team. World Championship relay gold medallist Iwan Thomas continues his work for Channel 4 following his presentation of That Paralympic Show, whilst Olympic medal-winning 400m sprinter Katharine Merry and World Championship and Commonwealth Games multi-medal-winning decathlete Dean Macey also feature.
To promote Channel 4′s exclusive coverage of the IAAF, the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has taken to the starting block to star in a specially-made ident, which is due to TX prior to and throughout the IAAF World Athletic Championships.
In the very first collaboration of its kind in the UK, Channel 4 also launched a new competition with pioneering music website Mixcloud with the aim of crowd-sourcing music to accompany the coverage. The competition, commissioned through Channel 4′s Alpha Fund, encourages Mixcloud users or ‘Cloudcasters’ to compile an eight-track list of any music they choose to accompany footage of individual athletes competing in the championship. The winning playlists will be broadcast on the IAAF World Athletics microsite within Channel4.co.uk.
Channel 4 continued its drive for creative diversity with the appointment of Middlesbrough-based website supplier 13Strides to create its bespoke online content for the Championships. The company itself was founded by a former athlete, Anthony Bursomato, who competed in the 2003 Championships at the 400 metre hurdles.
Channel 4 will show almost 65 hours of coverage of the 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships, which take place from 27 August to 4 September in Daegu, South Korea, including all sessions plus a regular highlights programme in prime time.